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Hiccups lead to two deaths

January 25, 2006

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters)

A Colombian man accidentally shot his nephew to death while trying to cure his hiccups by pointing a revolver at him to scare him, police in the Caribbean port city of Barranquilla said on Tuesday.

After shooting 21-year-old university student David Galvan in the neck, his uncle, Rafael Vargas, 35, was so distraught he turned the gun on himself and committed suicide, police said.

The incident took place on Sunday night while the two were having drinks with neighbors.

Galvan started to hiccup and Vargas, who works as a security guard, said he would use the home remedy for hiccups of scaring him. He pulled out his gun, pointed it at Galvan and it accidentally went off, witnesses told local television.

"They were drinking but they were aware of what was going on," one witness said.